Sadness filled the hallways at Bishop McDevitt High School on Thursday. The new multi-million dollar school has only been open for a few months, and Bishop Joseph McFadden was no stranger.
Many say if it weren't for him, the school would not exist. It is clear the students of Bishop McDevitt have a great deal of love and respect for Bishop McFadden.
For principal Sister Mary Anne Bednar, it's still hard to believe that McFadden is gone. She broke the news to students in tears.
“It was probably one of the hardest announcements I've ever had to make,” she said, “Our kids are saddened. There was an absolute silence that fell over the building.”
Bishop McFadden played a huge role in getting the school up and running. When you walk through the doors, his picture is one of the first things you'll see. McFadden was proud of this school, and its students.
“He gave so much of his time for Bishop McDevitt, even though he didn't have to,” said senior Giorgi Heanue, “He was supposed to be at our graduation, so that's one of the things we're going to miss coming up.”
Senior Jared Sutsko will also miss the bishop. He's headed to the seminary, and just spoke with McFadden about it a few days ago.
“He just seemed really excited and he was compassionate for what I feel called to do,” he said. “It really struck me of how great of a person he was.”
A sentiment, many students agree with.
“I have no doubt in my mind that he went straight to heaven,” said senior Timothy Robbins.
Bishop McFadden was such a special part of the building. Over the summer, he blessed the giant cross that sits 100 feet above the ground.
In January, before the doors opened, he blessed each hallway in the school. It was not unusual for him to just pop in for a visit. The principal even made him a key.